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Donor Impact Stories

The Currie/Baehr Fund

Alex and Karen
In 1993, just prior to their 25th wedding anniversary, Alex and Karen Currie decided to recognize the occasion by doing something for the community rather than receiving well-meant gifts. They felt that struggling youth at risk needed support more than they needed "things". So they talked to the Vancity Community Foundation who enthusiastically supported the idea, and together established the framework for a charitable investment account called a donor advised fund.

They made an initial donation, prepared a brochure, sent it along with an invitation to family and friends, and held an anniversary dinner party to launch the Fund. Guests were supportive and generous and the Vancity Community Foundation's first donor-advised fund was on its way.

Recently, the Curries have given more thought as to how they could sustain the support for at-risk youth programs in perpetuity. So, in addition to naming the Currie/Baehr Fund as beneficiaries in their wills, they have also chosen to purchase and donate to the Fund a separate life insurance policy with the Fund designated as the sole beneficiary. The death benefit of the life insurance will then be paid to the Fund once they have both died. The Curries pay the modest annual premiums on the life insurance policy directly (and receive donation tax receipts for those premium payments) with the knowledge they are setting up the Fund to receive a substantial contribution.

The Fund has made grants over the years to a number of wonderful organizations, including Aunt Leah's, Justice for Girls, Potluck Cafe Society, and Take a Hike. In return, the Curries have received rewards far greater than just an annual investment return on their donations. Their family and friends continue to recognize special dates and milestones with donations to the Fund, and feel they've benefited similarly.

The Laura Napodi Endowment Fund

Laura Napodi
Laura Napodi was born with the life threatening disease cystic fibrosis. Although this devastating disease required a regime of physiotherapy 3 to 4 times a day, 50 plus pills, and countless hospitalizations, she never let it take over her life. She would often say, "I have CF, and it doesn't have me!" With this type of spirit, Laura embraced life by always planning things with her friends (even when she was in the hospital), tap dancing, flute lessons, surfing, snowboarding, and shopping. There was nothing she wouldn't do from "riding the rails" on her snowboard to cliff jumping in Hawaii.

As the disease slowly took over her young life, she eventually needed a lung transplant. The news that she was not a candidate for a lung transplant in B.C. was difficult, however, after consultation with doctors, she was accepted as a transplant candidate at Toronto General. As Laura knew this was her only chance of survival, she decided to go ahead with it. Instead of one parent going with Laura and one parent staying with Laura's sister Caitie, they decided to stay together and, just before Christmas 2003, the family landed in Toronto. Although this was a very stressful period, Laura was as positive as she could be. She had difficulty breathing and was now using a wheelchair, but this did not stop her from shopping and seeing all the sights in Toronto.

In January 2004, Laura turned 20 and unfortunately had to spend this birthday in the hospital. At the end of her three-week hospital stay, her lung collapsed and they were desperately hoping for a lung transplant which was finally received after spending 3 weeks in the ICU. As Laura had to wait longer than expected, coupled with unforeseen complications, she did not survive the surgery.

How does a devastated family honour someone so special, someone so full of love, courage and spirit? The family agreed they wanted to create a legacy that would continue over time and support the things that were important to Laura and decided to set up a donor advised fund in Laura's name at the Vancity Community Foundation. Through this fund, Laura's family and friends can continue to support Cystic Fibrosis research as well as support something she loved, by providing Laura's high school with a Fine Arts Scholarship in her memory.